Bio-Inspired Band-Gap Tunable Elastic Optical Multilayer Fibers

Harvard University, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 9 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA-02138, USA. .
Advanced Materials (Impact Factor: 17.49). 04/2013; 25(15). DOI: 10.1002/adma.201203529
Source: PubMed


The concentrically-layered photonic structure found in the tropical fruit Margaritaria nobilis serves as inspiration for photonic fibers with mechanically tunable band-gap. The fibers show the spectral filtering capabilities of a planar Bragg stack while the microscopic curvature decreases the strong directional chromaticity associated with flat multilayers. Elongation of the elastic fibers results in a shift of the reflection of over 200 nm.

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    • "However, current fabrication methods cannot satisfactorily mimic the architectural complexity19 found in natural systems without greatly compromising control capacity, ease of fabrication and/or production costs. In particular, while nature-inspired 1D and 3D photonic crystals can be fabricated2021 by self-assembly or deposition techniques, functional imitations of 2D photonic crystals observed in nature222324 are yet to be produced. "
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    ABSTRACT: Biological systems serve as fundamental sources of inspiration for the development of artificially colored devices, and their investigation provides a great number of photonic design opportunities. While several successful biomimetic designs have been detailed in the literature, conventional fabrication techniques nonetheless remain inferior to their natural counterparts in complexity, ease of production and material economy. Here, we investigate the iridescent neck feathers of Anas platyrhynchos drakes, show that they feature an unusual arrangement of two-dimensional (2D) photonic crystals and further exhibit a superhydrophobic surface, and mimic this multifunctional structure using a nanostructure composite fabricated by a recently developed top-down iterative size reduction method, which avoids the above-mentioned fabrication challenges, provides macroscale control and enhances hydrophobicity through the surface structure. Our 2D solid core photonic crystal fibres strongly resemble drake neck plumage in structure and fully polymeric material composition, and can be produced in wide array of colors by minor alterations during the size reduction process.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Scientific Reports
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    • "For example, a highly slippery surface structure from pitcher plants has inspired a slippery liquid-infused porous surface that can prevent liquids like blood and oil sticking to it, stay slippery in freezing, and even humid conditions [1]. The hierarchical photonic architecture in the cells of the tropical plant Margaritaria nobilis has inspired novel tunable band-gap multilayer fibers with a large tuning range in the visible spectrum [2]. Nature's photosynthetic systems from plants has inspired the artificial photosynthetic antenna systems based on carotenoid polygenes and polymer-polyenes covalently attached to tetrapyrroles [3]. "
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    Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Bioinspiration & Biomimetics

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